Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International, 3(3): 1-14, 2015; Article no. JGEESI. 19016. DOI:10.9734/JGEESI/2015/19016
This study highlights and documents indigenous weather forecasting knowledge of the people of the Higher Himalaya in Uttarakhand with an aim to explore its use for effective disaster risk reduction in remote and inaccessible areas. The findings show that while traditional weather forecasting is used by the people of the study area for local level decision making in pursuits related to travel and agriculture, it is perceived that the traditional knowledge of the people is based upon uniformity of weather pattern that has lately been disturbed by climate change. People therefore find it increasingly difficult to use this knowledge effectively. The elderly however have faith in this knowledge and are able to improvise and include more reliable indicators for weather prediction. The researchers recommend that formal recognition is needed for these practices to be better utilized by the masses as well as fo for planning process. Integrating this knowledge with modern science can help in better understanding of various climate relatedparameters and in managing climate risk
The research is based on interactions with the community members in identified habitations of the four valleys in the state of Uttarakhand, India, that is, Johar, Byans and Niti valleys together with upper reaches of Bhagirathi valley. It presents the results of a sample of 871 respondents from the selected 73 Higher Himalayan villages of Uttarakhand, recorded using a specially designed semi structured questionnaire. In addition to the questionnaire, the perception of the people was gathered through focused group discussions, in depth interviews and key informant interviews. Special care was taken to select elderly people in the sample and to ensure gender balance.